Kate's baby bump in magazine is strictly man-made
When the technology exists to alter reality, you can be sure it will be abused. No harm in that, except when you try to pass it off as reality.
It's a little game that the U.S. gossip magazine Star (absolutey no relation to this newspaper) is playing this week with with its sharp-eyed readers (without telling them of course). We have copied the magazine's cover above, next to a picture that was taken from the same angle and time at a reception in Singapore last week.
Wildly proclaiming, once again, that the Duchess is preganant (twins this time), the magazine used some clever manipulation to illustrate their point:
1) The picture has been flipped horizontally -- a no-no in most journalistic shops. You can tell that because in every authentic photo, the bracelet she is wearing is on her right wrist, not her left. And speaking of the left hand ...
2) It has suspiciously moved a lot closer to her body, which makes it fit the cover dimensions better and draw attention to the fact she drinks water (a sure sign of pregnancy). Her other hand, in the real world, has her engagement ring on the third finger. That was a problem for Star when they flipped the picture, so they ...
3) Removed the ring from her finger. A pity, since the ring always draws attention to that hand, which is resting right where Star would want it ...
4) On her slightly bloated stomach, in which the phantom 'TWINS' are nesting. The Duchess seems to be without any tummy distress in the real photo.
Why the Star does this is clear ... more readers. Every publication wants to attracts attention. Nobody drew more attention than Closer magazine when they published photos of topless Kate. How does the Star top that? Easy. Just throw out another story on Kate being pregnant and 'marry' the two stories togetther with the clever headline: "Pregnant Kate gets thrilling news amid nude-photo uproar."
Brilliant. It is, of course, of no consequence that one would be hard-pressed to push the argument that she's pregnant with even a moment's glance at a grainy photo of the bikini-topless duchess.
We needn't pick only on Star when it comes to Photoshop.
Here are a few examples at left. The first is The New Republic's version of Kate with bad teeth. In this case, a clearly satirical look at the duchess as a way to illustrate the demise of the British economy.
Marie Claire decided in their South African edition to put Kate into one of the fashions by local designer Clive Rundle. The magazine was upfront with the readers about the manipulation, but still, it is a bit of fakery that treads on a very thin line of credibility.
One of the most famous examples of redesigning the duchess came from Grazia magazine after the royal wedding (left). Kate's arms moved and her waist trimmed to create exactly what the art director wanted for a fairytale cover. Alas, their ruse was discovered and, after public outcry, they apologized for the manipulation.
Of course, Kate is not the only one of the Royal Family who occasionally runs into the Photoshop buzzsaw.
Prince Charles had his turn a few months ago when he was pictured chasing a little girl blowing bubbles,(below). The photo was tweeted out mercilessly, but all in good fun. The awkward picture of a leering Charles was taken from a 2009 visit to Guernsey and flipped to resemble a chase. The image of the little girl has been recycled numerous times in the company of various celebrities to produce a humourous photo.